Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Evaluating complex interventions

Health improvement programmes: really too complex to evaluate?

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 10 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1332
  1. Lyndal Bond, associate director1,
  2. Peter Craig, programme manager2,
  3. Matthew Egan, senior investigator scientist1,
  4. Kathryn Skivington, pre-doctoral fellow1,
  5. Hilary Thomson, senior investigator scientist1
  1. 1MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow G12 8RZ
  2. 2MRC Population Health Sciences Research Network, Glasgow G12 8RZ

    Imagine an intervention whose effects vary within and between individuals and depend on subtle interactions between deliverers and recipients, and in which exposure is uncertain. Given this complexity, who would contemplate conducting a randomised controlled trial? In fact, all these issues must be dealt with in drug or therapeutic trials, as well as in …

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